Back to Civvy Street
Back to Civvy Street: How can we better support individuals to lead successful civilian lives after a career in the UK Armed Forces?
In partnership with The Forces in Mind Trust
There have been numerous recent studies into the process of transition from Service life in the UK Armed Forces to civilian life. The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) published the Transition Mapping Study, and more recently Lord Ashcroft published the Veterans Transition Review, both of which identify that for many Service Leavers,transition is a successful process. As the FiMT report suggests, ‘..around twenty thousand soldiers, sailors and airmen leave the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces each year. Many have had their lives enriched by their service, and they transition into civilian life, together with their families, without significant difficulty.’
There is, however, a significant minority for whom transition and subsequent life chances are not as promising as they could be. There are considerable costs to these individuals, their families and society as a whole when transition and the subsequent pathway back in to civilian life is not as successful as it might be. A number of recurring themes emerge from many of the studies undertaken to date, including:
- The significant but disparate level of support available to an individual during the transition process itself,
- A widely held perception amongst the civilian population that many Service Leavers have ongoing physical, mental or emotional health needs as a result of their time in the Armed Forces,
- The importance of planning early for the move back to civilian life and gaining access to the civilian labour market,
- The need to appreciate the cultural differences between military and civilian life,
- Development of stronger financial management skills, and
- The role and importance of the family both in terms of their own needs but also in terms of supporting the Service Leaver as they move back to civilian life.
The aim of this consultation was to explore how we could better support Service Leavers to lead more successful and fulfilling lives after they have undergone the transition to civilian life, recognising that transition is just the first step towards life post the Armed Forces, and that support might be required for a number of years as the Service Leaver and his/her family integrate back into civilian life.
The full report can be read here.